Flying from New York to Delhi is a surreal experience. The flight I took is 14 hours – direct – but of course there is the 10.5 hour time shift. So landing was just around a full day later from departure, by the sun.
The flight to the other side of the world puts your mind into a strange fugue state. I am writing this on a lovely Sunday morning in New Delhi, and yet it is still the evening before back in New York City. I know objectively that this post is following my sequential one-per-day habit of posting, but on some deep instinctive level, everything tells me that Saturday – yesterday here now – is something that didn’t really happen. Rather than being a full day in my life, it felt like a strange interstitial experience, somewhere in that place where we keep memories that hover in our recollection between reality and dream.
The sun is so bright here, and of course the people in the bustling city outside my hotel window are so insistently – and enjoyably – loud and pleasant. People are shouting directions in all mixes of Hindi and English, cars are honking, strange clanking noises emerge from the never-ending construction with such intensity, that it is hard to deny the reality of this time shift. I enter a bright, and somewhat strange world, ready to be – as James O’Brien might have put it – on the far side of the world.
And so it will be, until I return back to New York, when I will most likely have the equally magical and uncanny experience of receiving back that lost half day in my life, this loan of time that I have made – simply by moving across the planet – finally repaid.